Man given 45 years in robbery

September 30, 1997


Staff Writer

A Washington County Circuit Court judge on Monday sentenced a man to 45 years in prison for his involvement in a July 1996 armed robbery in a Dual Highway motel parking lot.

Calling Norman Perry Herbert, 29, "a lifelong violent criminal," Circuit Judge John H. McDowell handed down a sentence intended to insure that Herbert will not be eligible for parole for at least 30 years.

Herbert, who in June was convicted of armed robbery and two handgun offenses, expressed no remorse before McDowell issued the sentence. He said he would appeal his conviction.


"I don't have anything to be remorseful about," he told McDowell.

"I believe this person would (have) shot me if I had not given him my wallet," the victim wrote in an impact statement. He said after the robbery he and his wife have had trouble sleeping and get nervous leaving their home.

"It has made me afraid to walk outside after dark in different places I travel," the victim wrote.

McDowell said the state's three-time offender law required him to sentence Herbert to a minimum 25-year term in prison without parole. Herbert had two other robbery convictions in 1987.

McDowell sentenced Herbert to an additional 20 years for the use of a handgun in the commission of a felony. Five of those years must be served without chance of parole, said Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Michael.

Herbert will serve a concurrent five-year sentence for a handgun possession violation.

The robbery occurred July 12, 1996, at 12:01 a.m. when a suspect approached a man who was unloading a van at Wellesley Inn on the Dual Highway, court records said. The robber displayed a handgun and demanded the victim's wallet.

After the victim handed over $88, a credit card and an ATM card, the robber fled into the woods on foot, reports said.

Police later found a bag of clothing, some shoes and a loaded .38-caliber handgun under a tree, police reports said. After the victim positively identified the clothing as that worn by the robber, police discovered two yellow Post-It notes in one of the pockets.

The notes contained phone numbers and some names. One of the numbers belonged to a Hagerstown resident who recalled writing the other numbers down for a man later identified as Herbert.

Before the sentencing hearing, Herbert asked McDowell to remove his attorney, Steven Kessell, from the case. Herbert claimed Kessell refused to call certain witnesses and lied to him about the law during the June trial.

But McDowell said Herbert had "excellent representation" in the case and denied the request.

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